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Constructing Test Items : Multiple-Choice, Constructed-Response, Performance and Other Formats - Steven J. Osterlind

Constructing Test Items

Multiple-Choice, Constructed-Response, Performance and Other Formats

Hardcover Published: 31st December 1997
ISBN: 9780792380771
Number Of Pages: 339

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Constructing test items for standardized tests of achievement, ability, and aptitude is a task of enormous importance. The interpretability of a test's scores flows directly from the quality of its items and exercises. Concomitant with score interpretability is the notion that including only carefully crafted items on a test is the primary method by which the skilled test developer reduces unwanted error variance, or errors of measurement, and thereby increases a test score's reliability. The aim of this entire book is to increase the test constructor's awareness of this source of measurement error, and then to describe methods for identifying and minimizing it during item construction and later review.
Persons involved in assessment are keenly aware of the increased attention given to alternative formats for test items in recent years. Yet, in many writers' zeal to be `curriculum-relevant' or `authentic' or `realistic', the items are often developed seemingly without conscious thought to the interpretations that may be garnered from them. This book argues that the format for such alternative items and exercises also requires rigor in their construction and even offers some solutions, as one chapter is devoted to these alternative formats.
This book addresses major issues in constructing test items by focusing on four ideas. First, it describes the characteristics and functions of test items. A second feature of this book is the presentation of editorial guidelines for writing test items in all of the commonly used item formats, including constructed-response formats and performance tests.
A third aspect of this book is the presentation of methods for determining the quality of test items. Finally, this book presents a compendium of important issues about test items, including procedures for ordering items in a test, ethical and legal concerns over using copyrighted test items, item scoring schemes, computer-generated items and more.

What Is Constructing Test Items?p. 1
Introductionp. 1
What This Book Is Aboutp. 6
Major Purposes Of This Bookp. 9
Why This Information Is Importantp. 11
Persons For Whom This Book Is Intendedp. 13
Overview Of The Remaining Chaptersp. 14
How To Approach the Chaptersp. 16
Definition, Purpose, And Characteristics of Itemsp. 17
Introductionp. 17
Defining A Test Itemp. 19
Test Item Nomenclaturep. 21
Purpose For Test Itemsp. 36
Criteria For Good Test Itemsp. 40
Assumptions For Test Itemsp. 44
Classification Of Itemsp. 54
Conclusionp. 57
Determining the Content For Items: Validityp. 59
Introductionp. 59
Basic Concepts of Validityp. 61
The Relationship Between Constructing Test Items and Validityp. 65
Conditions For Items To Contribute To Validityp. 67
Initial Considerations When Selecting Content For Itemsp. 69
Achieving Clarity In A Test's Contentp. 71
Melding Cognitive Processing Levels With Items Contentp. 83
Test Item Specificationsp. 88
Making An Item Consistent With Its Specificationp. 98
Conclusionp. 105
Starting To Write Items: Practical Considerationsp. 107
Introductionp. 107
The Importance Of Good Writing In Test Itemsp. 109
Sources For Information On Writing Stylep. 113
The Computer and Writing Itemsp. 115
Using Taxonomies In Writing Itemsp. 116
Distinctness Between Stem and Response Alternativesp. 132
Importance Of An Interrogative Stemp. 136
Determining The Correct Response For Test Itemsp. 139
Positive Working in the Stem Rather than Negativep. 145
Determining The Optimal Number Of Response Alternativesp. 146
Making Response Alternatives Plausiblep. 148
Use Of All Of The Above Or None Of The Above As Response Alternativesp. 151
Using Specific Determiners In Test Itemsp. 155
Constructing Complex Response Alternativesp. 156
Time Examinees Need To Respond To Itemsp. 158
Conclusionp. 158
Style, Editorial, and Publication Guidelines For Items in the Multiple-Choice Formatp. 161
Introductionp. 161
Understanding The Multiple-Choice Item Formatp. 162
Advantages and Criticisms Of Items In The Multiple-Choice Formatp. 163
Editorial Format For Itemsp. 165
Using Directions Correctlyp. 169
Specialized Style Rules For Multiple-Choice Itemsp. 174
Type Characteristics and Page Layoutp. 193
Conclusionp. 202
Style, Editorial, and Publication Guidelines For Items in Constructed-Response and Performance Formatsp. 203
Introductionp. 203
Types of Constructed-Response and Performancep. 205
Validity in Constructed-Responsep. 206
Precision in Wording, Againp. 208
Conclusionp. 214
Style, Editorial, and Publication Guidelines For Items in Other Common Formatsp. 215
Introductionp. 215
Precision In Wording, Againp. 216
Understanding Items In The True-False Formatp. 219
Understanding Items In The Matching Formatp. 234
Understanding Short-Answer And Sentence-Completion Itemsp. 237
Understanding Cloze-Procedurep. 242
Conclusionp. 251
Judging the Quality Of Test Items: Item Analysisp. 253
Introductionp. 253
Measurement Errorp. 254
Understanding Item Analysisp. 257
Validating The Content Of Itemsp. 258
Using Leading Questions In Item Analysisp. 265
Item Statisticsp. 266
Item Parametersp. 284
Item Biasp. 289
Conclusionp. 298
Ethical, Legal Considerations, and Final Remarks for Item Writersp. 301
Introductionp. 301
Ethical Concerns For Item Writersp. 302
Concluding Comments About Constructing Test Itemsp. 308
Referencesp. 311
Author Indexp. 327
Subject Indexp. 331
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792380771
ISBN-10: 0792380770
Series: Evaluation in Education and Human Services
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 339
Published: 31st December 1997
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.64
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised

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